ASU eSports club hosts month-long charity drive

ASU eSports is hoping to raise money for Phoenix Children's Hospital

The ASU eSports club is partnering with a group called Extra Life to host a month-long charity drive in support of Phoenix Children's Hospital.

Extra Life is a nonprofit that has raised over $40 million in support of Children’s Miracle Network hospitals around the country, according to their website.

Participating gamers nationwide will raise money for donations through live streams of their games. ASU's eSports club will also collect cash donations at their events.

The club's goal for the charity drive is $2,000.

Michael Carlton, a public service and public policy junior, is president of ASU eSports.

Carlton said he has been interested in doing a charity drive for two years, and this year he was ready to take on the challenge. He wants people to understand that the eSports club is about more than just playing games – they want to make a difference.

“We do things for good causes and make connections and bridge gaps with other people," he said.

He said gaming can help people at any point in their life, but it can be especially helpful for people who are sick.

"If you're ill or can't do as much as other people can, gaming is always a way to summon connections with people," Carlton said.

The club is hosting a total of six events from Jan. 12 to Feb. 9, ranging from sophisticated games like "Hearthstone," to more casual ones like "Mario Party."

Carlton said the variety of events was designed to help the club reach outside of the immediate gaming community. 

The club controls seven eSports teams within ASU and has around 250 members. 

Luc McConnell, a biological sciences sophomore, is the club's social media manager and has been promoting the events on the club’s social media pages as well as working to build the club's Extra Life page

"This allows gamers to donate in an easy-to-format way," he said. "We've always wanted to give back to the community as a club, but it's difficult to find that in the entertainment field."

Members of the Arizona State University eSports Association play games in order to raise $2,000 for the Arizona Children's Hospital at the Memorial Union on the Tempe campus on Friday, January 19, 2018.

McConnell also said the month-long initiative was a bold plan since it's the club's first time attempting a charity drive, but there was no way to do everything they had planned without spreading it over a month.

Lucas Selman, an industrial engineering junior, is the assistant marketing director for the club. Selman is the captain of the club's Division II "Overwatch" team.

"I've done a little bit of everything, but what I've done mostly is setting up the tournaments," he said. "These are all professional games you have to get a license with."

Selman said the club was inspired to raise money for Phoenix Children's because of how many people are affected by terminal diseases.

"For me, both my mom and my sister work for children's hospitals, and anyone working to help kids in the worst point of their lives, anything we can do to help, especially play video games, we'd love to help out," he said. 

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